Bullet Points: Blood of Redemption
With the frequency that Dolph Lundgren movies are released into the marketplace it is not hard to understand how some of Dolph’s movies can go virtually undetected by even the most ardent Dolph Lundgren supporters.
2013’s Blood of Redemption is not the first generically titled Dolph Lundgren movie that got lost in the shuffle for me and in all honesty with as busy as Dolph continues to be it probably won’t be the last either…
- The Family: Robert Miano plays Serge, the head of an organized crime family that has built an empire on illegal gambling, identity theft and counterfeiting. Serge has two sons, Quinn (played by Billy Zane of The Phantom fame) who is the heir apparent to Serge’s throne and Kurt (Gianni Capaldi) the son Serge has vowed to keep out of the family business. Dolph Lundgren plays Axel, the head of security for the family. Axel has been working for Serge for so long he is practically family himself, looking at both Quinn and Kurt as his brothers from a different mother.
- The Game Changer: Everything starts to change at Serge’s 70th birthday celebration. Serge is looking to call it quits after he learns that the FBI protection that has afforded him the opportunity to run his criminal empire will no longer be an option due to some personnel changes at the Bureau. Serge is trying to orchestrate a deal that will allow him to cash out and retire from the business so he can relax and enjoy the twilight of his life. But Quinn and Serge’s longtime business partner Hayden (played by Robert Davi) want to keep things going. Hayden even brings his wild card of a nephew Campbell (Vinnie Jones) over from London to help with the business. One of Campbell’s first jobs with the family is to accompany Quinn on a delivery but things go horribly wrong. Quinn and Campbell find themselves in a shoot out with some Triad gangsters with the sounds of police sirens in the distance. When Hayden gets word that his nephew and Quinn are in danger, he pleads with Axel to go to their aid. Axel does not get there in time, Quinn ends up arrested and meanwhile the unprotected Serge is murdered in cold blood.
- The Future: The movie fasts forward three years… we learn that Axel has been in hiding and also obsessed with finding out who murdered his former employer… Serge’s son Kurt is now a hot shot agent with the FBI and conducting his own investigation into who killed his father… Campbell and Hayden are running the nefarious operations that Hayden and Serge once ruled over. Campbell is hooking up with Loryn (Jelly Howie) the hot girlfriend that Quinn was involved with before he went to prison and Campbell is even living in Serge’s mansion. That’s cold blooded.
- The Mystery: At this point Blood of Redemption becomes part actioner and part whodunit. Axel ends up forming an uneasy alliance with the recently released from prison Quinn and “double agent” Loryn as they attempt to bring down Campbell and Hayden. But through it all Axel never loses sight of his ultimate goal, finding out who killed Serge and bringing that person to justice. That is one loyal employee! Blood of Redemption does a good job casting shade on just about everyone making them all seem like possible murder suspects before Axel ultimately channels his inner Jessica Fletcher and solves the case in the closing minutes of the movie.
Blood of Redemption wanted to be more than your garden variety, run of the mill direct to video action flick. Whether or not Blood of Redemption succeeded in that endeavor is up for debate, but one thing that can not be debated is the impressive cast that was assembled.
Too often an established action star like Dolph Lundgren is thrown into a low budget movie with little to no supporting players as the producers hope that the star power of the established action hero will be enough to carry the film. But Blood of Redemption gave Dolph plenty of support with Billy Zane, Vinnie Jones, Robert Miano and movie bad guy royalty in the form of Robert Davi.
My only major complaint with Blood of Redemption was the overall lack of action. We get a smattering of action here and there as it is intertwined with the unraveling mystery of who killed Serge but we never get that one pulse pounding, adrenaline filled action sequence.
One thing this review is not lacking is some Bonus Bullet Points…
- If You Ever: …wanted to see Dolph Lundgren battle a prostitute with mad martial arts skills and armed with a chain, then this is the movie for you.
- Reunited: Dolph Lundgren, Vinnie Jones and Gianni Capaldi also starred together in 2013’s Ambushed. The movie also starred Randy Couture who starred with Dolph in The Expendables movies.
- Going Out With a Bang: A crooked United States Senator that was on Serge’s payroll for decades finds himself set up for the murder of two big busted escorts but not before a night of three way fun with the senator and the escorts who had boobs for days.
- AKA: In Germany the movie was released as Blood of Redemption – Vendetta because two generic titles are better than one!?!?
- If You Ever: …wanted to hear Robert Davi speak with a British accent, then this is the movie for you.